Delete Monks?

edited October 2019 in Common Grounds
Serious question.

Monks are strong. All of them. Even the weakest of the bunch (Nunchaku) is better than most classes.

There is no denying that. Monks are the only class that retains the complexity of pre-OH combat Lusternia in the post-OH world with its high skill floor (just try AB KATA FORMS for size) and an even higher skill ceiling. However, that doesn't mean there's no counterplay to them.

But is that in itself the problem?

As high as the skill floor to PLAY monk is, the skill floor to play AGAINST them is higher. And this skill floor gets higher and higher depending on the monk's skill level. I have no problem playing against other monks and can even ignore them at times because I know how to reactively stance against them. In my observations and logs, everyone else just STANCES LEGS or VITALS ONCE and calls it a day.

It's complicated, but that's why I think it's fun.

But I can also see why that is a point of frustration for others. It's something I'm seeing as I find myself explaining the proper counterplay to monks, something second nature to me since it's my class, and realizing how objectively complicated it is as I write it out. You literally have to know how to play monk in order to fight one.

So are monks too complicated?

  1. Do we simplify them further? (This might require a redesign?)
  2. Do we raise other classes to match their complexity? (Even bigger undertaking?)
  3. Or should we just delete them?

I've spent a considerable amount of time, work, and effort into learning monk and how to make it work at its best. They are STRONG. But they're not UNCOUNTERABLE. It's just complicated.

But even as a monk, I'm fine to delete them if everyone just agrees that they're too complicated and do not match the vision and design of the entire game.

I'm serious.

And I would also love to hear Admin's perspective on this, too, with all our plans for changes moving forward.

Edit: Some bad grammar and typos.


  • KaiKai
    edited October 2019
    Delete monks, make warrior a real class again.

    Jokes aside and as someone who's been playing monk since day 1, I agree with everything you've put forward here. Monks are strong, always have been, and a lot of that strength lies in how complex they are and the need to understand how they work to play around them. They should probably be reworked again into something less oppressive without intricate knowledge of mechanics or just outright deleted.
  • I wouldn't be opposed to merging monk and warrior.

    A lot of the problems with warriors was that monks are basically better warriors. And a lot of the limitations of warrior were to distinguish them from monks, which are... imbalanced.
  • I'm guessing the delete option is mostly tongue-in-cheek, but as a general rule I'm opposed to deleting any sort of character customisation options (whether that refers to pulling out established archetypes, skills, guilds, nations, whatever). I wish we wouldn't turn to that as anything but a final, catastrophic last resort only after all possible fixes and reworks are ruled out.

    That said, your main arguments for a review seem sound to me. For what my opinion here is worth.
  • KaiKai
    edited October 2019
    I'm pretty sure neither of us are kidding about it. Monks have been bandaid on top of bandaid for years. The skill floor is so forbiddingly high that most new monks either quit the class or the game rather quickly (anecdotal, of course, but this is a trend I've noticed for a long time), and quite simply they can be pretty unfun to play against. While I do love monk for its complexity I can also see that it's never been the healthiest archtype for balance and I would be totally fine with them being merged with warrior in some way, or just outright removed.
  • edited October 2019
    I am also seriously not joking about just deleting them.

    It's pretty exhausting to be called OP and having to defend your 'not really the strongest archetype' at every corner just because I'm playing it optimally.

    It's also just been historically difficult to balance with its theme and design in mind. At the end of the day, it really seems like a waste of resources trying to fix something that everyone seems to always, through the history of Lusternia, consider as broken in every iteration.

    Some warriors are already multi-hit. Why not make warriors that 1-h have 'maneuvers' like kata has 'forms' right now. All warriors, regardless of 1-h or 2-h, have 'maneuvers' they can do that are two-hit. They also get no kick, which is one of monk's advantages over warrior, which also means 1 less aff. (Aff overload is always people's problem with monk).
  • I find playing monk a lot of fun and think it would be a shame if monk were deleted, both because I really enjoy how it plays right now and because I love the RP feel of the class.

    I can't speak to balance issues since I haven't played in a while and didn't understand all of Lusternia's classes all that deeply to begin with, but I for one would feel incredibly disappointed if when I came back (which I intend to do relatively soon), I could no longer play something resembling the current iteration of the monk class.
  • Naevari said:
    I love the RP feel of the class.
    I totally understand this. For example, nuMonks have Zarakido that is a skillset that is extremely unique mechanically (meaning you can't find something like it in other IREs) and is deeply tied to Lusternia-specific lore.

    But of all classes, even Monks are the SCANTEST of RP-lore to delete. Like, look at the flavortext for some of these monks. Vague as hell: "You perform <keph/illith language> kick/swing on X!"

    And then look at how we made the decision to have a massive event to kill all Guilds. MASSIVE amounts of RP-investment lost. A lot of Knights were extremely tied to their Guild. But we did it because it was for the good of the game.

    Is deleting monks for the good of the game, pvp-wise?
  • In that case, definitely not a fan of the deleting/merging options.

    If the problem is in counter-play requiring too much skill/knowledge, couldn't that be addressed? I mean, isn't that what ssc has done for afflicting classes, raising the base counter-play skill level (even if you know nothing about Lusternia's affliction system)? Couldn't something similar happen for whatever the monk strategies are (ie, default stance responses being better by default, or whatever is appropriate)?

    Personally, I still think deleting the old guilds was unwise... there were solutions to consolidating populations that didn't involve wiping out all the RP history and purpose of them.
  • edited October 2019
    I think a lot of people keep overestimating and overvaluing SSC out of the box.

    SSC is amazing and it has alleviated a large chunk of the barrier of entry into PVP. But there are TONS of tools in there that you can modify and have to code client-side (meaning on MUSH or Mudlet) to completely counter and neuter monks, which I know of because I'm a monk. 

    BUT SSC CAN'T DO EVERYTHING FOR YOU. What's the point?

    If admin wants, I can literally explain all the counterplay to my OP monk tactics but I don't really want to share them because... duh? Goes back to skill floor to fight monks getting higher the better the monk is. There IS counterplay. I'm really just not keen on telling you all of them.
  • DaraiusDaraius Shevat The juror's taco spot
    I'm not sure I understand the point of PK if SSC is supposed to counter everything.
    I used to make cakes.

    Estarra the Eternal says, "Give Shevat the floor please."
  • edited October 2019
    Daraius said:
    I'm not sure I understand the point of PK if SSC is supposed to counter everything.
    People are literally expecting SSC to stance, parry, upkeep defs for them. There's literally even an report right now asking SSC to essentially code for them.

    People even expect SSC to auto-diagnose for them (which should solve this cleanse/greenlock drama. And FYI, you can actually CLEANSE out of my locks but SSC just doesn't do that unless you diagnose).

    You can actually make SSC diagnose for you, though.

    SSC isn't perfect. For example, it doesn't pick up secondary affliction lines. Like internalbleeding will keep tic-ing but SSC won't recognize it. You have to code it in. That's one of the things people hate about Ninjakari right now.

    People really just aren't willing to learn how to play with SSC or against monks because it's complicated.

    So I'm saying if it's too complicated, let's just delete all of them.

    The overhaul was meant to simplify combat. Are monks too complicated for this new status quo?

    But how simple are we gonna make combat?

    Combat's already mash a damage attack until someone dies.
  • Daraius said:
    I'm not sure I understand the point of PK if SSC is supposed to counter everything.
    I think people are more complaining about the fact stancing and parry systems are rather complex things to code, they require pattern recognition to pick the right counters based on enemy and the last sequences he used. You also have to continuously update this as people will start using different sequences to bypass your stancing or parry. Other classes don't have this, other classes you can fairly simply adjust your curing queues in AC and continue with minimal coding.

    Yes you can manually stance and parry, and can do so very successfully, but that requires a good gagging and echoing system while still doing a disproportionate amount of study in your enemy's attack cycles compared to what is needed to counter other classes.

    Parry and Stance are systems that should never have existed in Lusternia. It is too bad the combat overhaul did not just get rid of it and balance around their absence.
  • edited October 2019
    But yeah.

    I agree. Fighting a monk is hard.

    And the reason I play monk is that you're rewarded for class mastery. That if I know more than you about monk (which is a given since it's my class) AND curing manipulation, it WILL show. And I get how that looks OP.

    But if everyone agrees that that's not healthy or fun: we either have to delete them or rework them.

    So I guess... Yeah. Just asking for ideas then.
  • The point is not that SSC will just automatically handle all defensive combat for you, but that you won't have to code big systems to make the same kinds of choices available to people who can code big systems. If you're playing without a stancing system you functionally can't make dynamic choices on what to stance and when fast enough in combat. If SSC would handle changing stances, that opens up options for those players besides static stancing.

    Ideally all classes would be designed such that to kill you can't just overwhelm curing by brute force numbers or rely on people just not making use of defensive options because to really use them sufficiently to matter would require code. Instead you should have to rely on reacting to how the defenses are set up, and defending should be a mix of (less binary, hopefully) running away and targeted hindering/defensive options.

    Monks are getting to kills mostly via the latter angle, not necessarily by flat out slamming with brute force (though uh...) but most people just not being capable of really fully using the defensive options available to mitigate them. Many other classes that are seeing success are just going with flat numbers because there just aren't really good defensive options OR enough offensive variation to allow strategic offense outside of volume.

    I don't know about deleting monks exactly, but I think the root of the problem is the way the curing mechanics are set up, which creates those two strategies for victory in small combat. Without tackling that, I dunno - might be best to balance all classes around one of the two paradigms and adjust expectations across the board.
  • edited October 2019
    Solutions and Goals:
    Absorb monks into Warriors so they can regain monopoly over high-impact and rare ice afflictions.
         - Warrior ice afflicting is gated by wounds, which are slower to build and easier to track for the targeted. Meanwhile, the only thing gating monks are stances, which are considerably harder to track for a target.

    Emphasize wounds gating high-impact ice afflictions.

        - Some ice afflictions are stronger than others, hence higher wound requirements in current Warrior iteration. Meanwhile, monks only require a specific stance to start throwing high quantities of ice affs out before a warrior can even reach wound threshold. 

    Reduce brute force ice aff quantity. Make ice afflicting more 'stickier' and more intentional.

        - Once a warrior builds enough wounds to afflict with ice, it's impossible to maintain the affliction to take advantage of its effects. The only ones who can stick affs are monks through sheer problematic quantity. To do this, ice afflicting and curing need a slight rework based on pre-existing systems.

    Reduce parry/stance complexity.

        - Parrying and Stancing are currently very complicated. This is compounded by the variety of attacks a monk can do that come in even more varied sets of three. Deleting them will eliminate that burden and allow people to focus on warriors, who have 1-2 attacks vs monk's PPK 3.

    Concrete Suggestions:

    1. Delete Current Parry and Stance system and create a new system that is a mix of both.
    Create new Parry (or whatever we want to call it) system that allows parrying 'areas' with the same divisions as old stancing. Parry Vitals/Arms/Legs/Head/Upper/Middle/Lower/Left/Right/Limbs but also allow SINGLE PART parry for those that want to and are willing to put the effort to learn precision parrying.

    2. Rework Wounds system to 5 levels.

    None      0%
    Trifling   1% - 10%
    Light      11% - 40%
    Medium  41% - 65%
    Heavy     66% - 90%
    Critical   91% - 100%
    Warriors will retain the ability to swing purely to build wounds or to afflict and wound at a reduced rate.
    But in order to give warriors immediate threat for groups independent of wounds, warriors can use all non-ice afflictions in their spec at no (0+) wounds. This, paired with poison envenoming should help provide upfront hinder independent of wounding. 
         - For example, a warrior can open with a leg swing at no wounds that hits with paralysis + wounds. Or a head swing for stupidity + wounds. This allows them to participate in standard non-ice afflicting for synergy with other classes and immediate, non-wounds reliant threat. But they're still outputting afflictions less obnoxiously than monks.
    Any ice afflictions will require Light (10+) wounds meaning if someone walks into a room of warriors they don't instantly get barraged with ice affs, similar to the monk's 'weak base' mechanic. On a wounds-less target part, a warrior can't apply ice afflictions on it until their second balance.

    To make-up for 2h vs 1h disparity:

         - Make 2h weapons apply the first two poisons on a single swing the same way 2h weapons in kata forms (sort of like one attack) apply two poisons while 1hs stay the same.
         - Make 2hs apply wounds at slightly over double the rate of 1hs while 1hs get more afflictions. This preserves the current identities of 2hs being wound-builders and 1hs being aff-stackers.

    Provide a wound building malus to multiple warriors targeting the same person.

         - Similar to monk hemo build malus on same target.
         - This preserves the initial window of response to disengage before a warrior can start building but also minimize the exponentially deadly effects of class stacking.


    Current monk kill window quick yet highly hindering. Current warrior kill window via wounds is extremely slow and unhindering but still too slow even while focused purely on building wounds.
         - What is an acceptable kill window for a warrior focused completely on wounds at a target not defending?
         - On a target while wounding AND afflicting?
              o From here, we can adjust wound rates to match this expectation.

    Reclassify Ice Afflictions into Two Categories: SimpleIce afflictions and DeepIce afflictions for each body part. 

    SimpleIce afflictions can be applied at Light (10+) wounds, requiring one warrior balance to set-up, onwards and are immediately cured on application, like ice afflictions now.
    - Proposed SimpleIce Affs: damagedskull, crushedchest, damagedorgans, damagedlimbs
         - Reasoning: while these afflictions are disruptive, they do not shut an opponent down and allow retaliation even if active. 
         - Affs work as is. Except for damagedlimbs, SimpleIce affs can be afflicted as DeepIce at Medium (41+) wounds to have a curing delay that scales with wounds. 

    DeepIce Afflictions can be applied at Medium (41+) wounds and have a curing delay on application, much like mutilatedlimbs are right now. 
         - The curing delay scales with the level of wounds on a limb, but at the base of Medium (41+) wounds, the delay should be long enough for a warrior to be able to recover balance (with a small window for failure) and hit while the affliction is still curing.
        - Proposed Deepice Affs: damagedthroat, collapsedlung, internalbleeding, mutilatedlimbs

    Rework DeepIce Affs:
         - Damagedthroat: Nothing. The more wounded, the longer the curing delay. Any delay on damagedthroat is deadly as is. Scaling delay maxes out at Heavy (66+) to prevent Dthroat-lock spamming. Ideally only lasts as long as x1.5 warrior balance to 2 warrior balances MAX. This means that, we also thematically keep head-curing a priority.
         - Collapsedlung: If at Medium (41+) wounds upon application, the curing delay is long enough for one tic of blackout to proc. At critical, lasts long enough for two tics.
         - Internalbleeding: If at Medium (41+) wounds upon application, the curing delay is long enough for one tic of bleeding and hemorrhaging. The amount of bleed and hemorrhaging per tic scales with the level of wounds.
         - MutilatedLimbs: As is, but with curing delay also extending with wound level. Disables the new version of parry. All instas will be affs-based around Vitals and mutes will be harder with this system so fear of mute spam begone! Mutes are meant to open up the vitals wounding, like with current monk design. Arm mutes and breaks are simply for enemy offense delay to buy breathing room and does not contribute to kills.


    Right now, it's standard to cure afflictions then wounds. Now, people have the dynamic yet simple option to focus curing wounds when they can afford to neglect those SimpleIce afflictions: i.e. damagedorgans helps aff you but doesn't stop you from fighting back; damagedarms might hinder you but you won't die and you can walk away; damagedlegs stops you from running too fast but you don't really have to cure it until you're prone, etc.
    And the incentive for targets on letting an ice aff (which warriors could never stack or stick reliably) stick in order to focus curing wounds now gating infamous heinous ice afflictions that have worse and worse effects that also get harder and harder to cure as you let wounds build-up. 

    Warriors retain their attrition playstyle while providing afflictions more consistently yet at a more reasonable and predictable pace than monks. 

         - Ice afflicting is now more deliberate and stickier. You no longer need raw quantity to stick ice affs and take advantage of their effects like monks used to.
         - Current AC MOD ICEQUEUE gives players options on wound or affliction-focused curing. 
              o Also requires allowing targeted curing of afflictions on the same bodypart. AFAIK, you can't focus ice affs on the same part right now. i.e., getting to pick curing dthroat or dskull.) 
              o Also requires a new message to differentiate between ice applications on wounds or ice applications for affs.
         - Curing afflictions cures the affliction and that parts wounds to a LESSER degree vs focused curing on part wounds (similar to other stacking effects, i.e. deathmark with dust, timewarp with steam, tempins with slush). Focused curing on wounds means a period of time that afflictions stay active. The early accessible SimpleIce afflictions are disruptive but not crippling lockdown, in addition to being instantly curable when you apply ice to them.
    So ideally, at the initial engagement, warrior targets should focus curing wounds until ice afflictions necessitate it. I.E., you don't need to cure a damagedleg until you're trying to run or have been proned to get up. And as SimpleIce, it both cures immediately and slightly reduces Wounds. 
         - This creates the two simple curing options of focusing affs or wounds. (Now you can run in and out but there will be more damagedlegs but you'll only be hobbling. There's your chasing problem! No more frequent mutes since you can see them coming and they take longer, too!)
    Make all warriors have access to a majority (but not all) of these ice afflictions like monks did to preserve different identities and roles. Warriors will also differ in the utility skills and the non-ice afflictions their specs provide them.
    Make all warrior instas affliction based where wounds are what allow afflictions to stay on long enough for a warrior to both apply afflictions and then trigger them. The requirement to initiate an insta would be 1 of 2 parts at Critical (91+) wounds and the other at Medium (41+) wounds.
    I.E. flow: if a DeepIce affliction is applied at Critical (91+) wounds, the curing delay is long enough that the warrior has enough time to hit another DeepIce affliction at Medium (41+). And by the time a warrior gets a third balance, both afflictions are still on with a small window of opportunity for error where they can execute their aff-gated insta.
          - Wounds -> Lasting Affs -> Insta condition.
    Yes, this means Critical wounds allow Deepice afflictions to stick long enough for two warrior balances after. But 1 long-lasting ice aff is still better than a monk's constant barrage of 3 PPK affs every 3s in a row. And this takes time and people can better anticipate their danger levels with the free WOUNDS checks.

    Example New Insta Conditions:
         - Execute: Crushedchest - DamagedOrgans = Crit and Medium Chest/Gut. Tenderize the midline before cleaving it in half!
         - Skewer: Collapsedlung - Internalbleeding = Crit and Medium Chest/Gut. Rupture internal organs before puncturing through them fatally!
         - Eviscerate: Damagedthroat - Damagedorgans = Crit and Medium Head/Gut. Rip their insides out through their mouth?
         - BashBrain: DamagedSkull - CrushedChest = Crit and Medium Head/Chest. Smash their skull down into their weakened chest!
         - Exsanguinate: Damagedthroat - Internalbleeding = Crit and Medium Head/GutBleed them out by slitting their throat and across their gut!
    Deletion of monks will reduce overall combat aff-output. 
    New warriors will get to regain their niche of ice affs that monks always did better, but new ice aff system (which works off of currently built-in systems by making them like mutes) allows them to keep sticking these afflictions STRATEGICALLY vs BRUTE FORCE QUANTITY that monks and their ice affs are.
    All warriors have access to damagedlimbs with ease, to help with their issues of 'just walk away from the warrior' but increased time and difficulty to achieve mutes means extremely long prones require a much more coordinated and concerted effort, but are also clearly telegraph with the necessity of wounds.
    Warriors will now fight like old monks, either pressuring vitals to kill or hindering via legs with STILL considerably reduced aff output vs current monks. Less affs, but stickier and more intentional. 
    Targets now have SIMPLER yet more EFFECTIVE options to PARRY AREAS with the ability to parry specific single parts for when they see one part being focused in particular. 
    Curing can also simply be toggled to prioritize affs or wounds depending on your situation, which is easily monitored via the free WOUNDS check. It is when afflictions start piling or are unignorable that players start curing afflictions at the expense of wounds curing slower and building a little faster. Maybe make an ice aff counter like 'UnknownAfflictionMax' but 'IceAfflictionMax' before it toggles to curing affs.
    AC MOD ICEQUEUE still provides higher skill ceilings for those willing to put in the effort.


    PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A ROUGH CONCEPT DRAFT. Feel free to ask questions and bring up concerns. This is just to get ideas flowing.
    A large part of this will be reassigning what specialties get what ice affs and non-ice affs that are both thematically and mechanically suitable.
    The current warrior system is salvageable if the affs in each spec are redesigned, and a new target kill timer is considered for wounds building.
    I feel like a large part of saving warrior is deleting monk, its biggest competition in the ice afflicting arena. Why build wounds as a warrior when you can start throwing ice affs out after a few balances? (For example, there's actually ice delay curing implemented already scaling on wounds. Mutilates always get maximum delay and monks can mutilate and get that max delay without needing wounds. Funky, right?)
    Warrior design is complex yet healthier than monk's even just by sheer aff output and windows of opportunity to respond.
    So, even as a monk, I support deleting monks for healthier and less oppressive game balance.

    Monks are currently too fast, too hindering, and overall strong. Warriors are too slow, negligible, and just in a bad spot.
    I'm hoping this finds that sweet middle ground.
  • It is actually fairly simple to see where both warrior and monk classes went wrong in basic design. A good class design is either high hinder, slow kill or low hinder, fast kill. Instead they made a high hinder, fast kill and low hinder, slow kill set.

    I highly doubt they'll accept merging or deleting as a solution so instead we should probably put effort to insert more hindering into warriors and remove a bunch of hindering from monks.

    As for parry and stancing, parry can easily be kept against warriors since slow build and mainly deciding of of wounds is fairly easy to code and can also be quite easily added to SSC. Stancing should probably be reworked into something else since right now it requires AI level coding to get a stancing system that works against multiple people who developed their own strategies (yes I know most people just copy katas, but plan for the future) and honestly I don't see how they could ever include that in SSC.
  • Nu. You leave us alone. D:

    Then again, I'm not PvP savvy when it comes to Lusternia so I'm pretty much confused by 99% of this thread. I just saw "Delete Monks" and... instant rage, lol. I finally found a class I love to hunt as! Go away!

    (This was after jumping from druid to warrior to bard to mage, back to bard, then to monk. I am SO glad I can make credits in-game. 😂)
  • EritheylEritheyl ** Trigger Warning **
    As a monk, yes. Please delete us. I can't even look at AB NUNCHAKU without wanting to die.

    Why did I flex it? Who knows!
    Crumkane, Lord of Epicurean Delights says, "WAS IT INDEED ON FIRE, ERITHEYL."


    With a deep reverb, Contemptible Sutekh says, "CEASE YOUR INFERNAL ENERGY, ERITHEYL."
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